Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 07/03/08 at 01:56 PM ET
By George James Malik
—of Snapshots at MLive
It was one of those 5 AM, running-on-no-sleep entries, where you’re actually surprised that nobody’s signed Marian Hossa at 3:30, so you go poking around the far corners of the internet, essentially shaking the tree to see if there are any nuts left.
Back in 2003, when Sergei Fedorov and the Red Wings were undergoing a messy divorce, and Igor Grigorenko’s life hung by a thread, I more or less taught myself to read the pidgin English that comes out of Promt‘s online translator. Promt allowed me to at least look past trying to sound out the harshly bold phonetic alphabet that is Cyrillic, and when I started plugging articles from Sport-Express’s Igor Larin into Promt, I found that he and Sergei’s dad, Viktor, were old buddies—as in buddies who dish dirt and swear up and down that every Russian player who becomes a “legionary” when he travels “over the ocean” to play in the NHL is clearly misunderstood, mis-used, and discriminated against because he is Russian.
Those assertions were made with serious venom when it came to Viktor’s kids, whether it was Fedor, who took his career so seriously that, at one point, he was driving a Hummer and wearing a full-length full coat while playing for the Manitoba Moose (Ray Emery has to have role models, you know), or Sergei, who seemed to appear more and more often in the tabloids instead of on the scoresheet after bringing some little blonde tennis player along for the Wings’ 1997 Stanley Cup parade.
As it turned out, Viktor was a controlling, manipulative father of Lindros-like proportions, and it wasn’t a very good thing for Sergei to have to both hear that from dad at home in Detroit, and then read that his dad questioned every move he or Scotty Bowman made in the paper.
Back in 2003, both European and North American players alike were slowly learning that, if you spouted off to a newspaper that would never see the light of day in the market you played, there was this thing called the internet, and people who were dedicated and/or crazy enough to sift through reports in other languages to try and figure out what you were saying (in some cases, word by word, as some Swedish articles tend to require, and thank Gord that Swedish is somewhat similar to German, or I’d be out of my head by now).
In 2008, Larin knows that we read his stuff. Larin plays to it on occasion, but he still talks to Viktor very regularly, and they still spout off about the same, tired old subjects, as if Don Cherry has two Bizarro Land twins.
So I know Larin’s a source of information about the Fedorov brothers, and I took a peek at his latest rambling early this morning. I ran it through the translator, and mistakenly claimed that it was Sergei Fedorov, not his brother, Fedor, who had been offered a contract by the New Jersey Devils. I moved on to an article in Soviet Sport by Pavel Lysenkov, who argued that Fedorov was all but certain to return to the KHL because a $2 million offer for a $4 million player was “insulting” (for Thursday’s edition, Lysenkov talks about the contract offer for a certain Fedorov and the possibility that Danny Markov might return to the NHL, via the Carolina Hurricanes; Larin claims that Sergei is drawing offers from SKA St. Petersburg, Moscow Dynamo, Avangard Omsk, and Metalurg Magnitogorsk, and he also feels that the Capitals’ offer is insulting given what they’ve paid out to Mike Green, and what Mats Sundin, a player similar to Fedorov’s stature, is being offered. He also says that Fedor is considering Jersey’s offer, and Sergei wants a 2-year deal at somewhere between $10-14 million)
As I stated, it turns out that Larin was talking about Fedor, not Sergei. My bad. It was an honest mistake. I skimmed at the wrong time.
I have also been told, however, that there might be bloggers who very literally ask you to give them a penny for their thoughts who might be citing the report as fact. It isn’t. I messed up. It’s Fedor who’s been given an offer from the Devils—if you believe Igor Larin, and not me.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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